Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet

Huh? Was that really it?! One of the most fun annual red carpets to review and I had to almost force myself to put this blog post together...because, well, its always fun to dish about fashion.

Let's just say I was completely underwhelmed this year.  There are always the hits and misses, but this year, there were WAY MORE misses than hits!?  Some of the perennial-best-dressed (I'm talking to you, Blake Lively!) even missed the mark.

So, here goes my few favorites...

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As a nod to the Hillary Pantsuit, Felicity Huffman rocked this Georges Chakra jumpsuit...
It was modern, youthful, and fun and the silver and gold detail was killer!

Golden Globes 2017 fashion
Adorable Reese Witherspoon gets if right more often than not, and last night's getup was spot on.  Loved the canary yellow shade of this Atelier Versace gown, choker, and sideswept bangs. Elegant but relaxed.
Golden Globes 2017 fashion
Naomie Harrison - This Armani Prive was absolutely stunning on her,
Loved the unique tone and texture of the dress and it fit like a glove!
Golden Globes 2017 fashion
I loved this whimsical and fun butterfly Monique Lhuillier gown on Drew Berrymore - It fits her free spirit personality 
Golden Globes 2017 fashion
LOVED Annette Bening in this Art Deco Pamella Roland gown...
It was simple, yet architecturally interesting...and the color was beautiful on her!
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It was safe and predictable, making Amy Adams' Tom Ford choice somewhat boring, but I did love the modern neckline and smoky color against her fair skin, and the column gown silhouette was very figure-flattering on her.

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Although her hair was a bit too 80s-slickback, her very interesting sequined dress-with-nod-to-pant-suit Jenny Packham gown was very chic on Kristen Bell...and the plunging neckline somehow worked on her without being distasteful.

The Stallone sisters looked amazing in all black.
Three Stallone daughters: Sistine, Scarlet, and Sophia (God bless their Mother for keeping these names straight!)
Loved the simple styles of these long black gowns.  Tasteful, age appropriate, and elegant!
Connie Britton wore her hair in loose curls in her sweet peach dress.
LOVE Connie Britton (and her hit show, Nashville), and although I did not love all the purple-y shades in the detail of this dress, I applaud that this designer showed some restraint in the bottom part of the dress, given all the detail up top...Also, very pretty color and silhouette on her...
Carrie Underwood had a lot of look on the top portion of her ensemble. Still, her hair and makeup were spot on.
I saw this on more 'worst-dressed' lists, but I loved Carrie Underwood's candy-pink Iris Serban gown with tons of ruffles...You have to see those ruffles up close...amazing detail!
It was girly and fun, fitting to her personality...
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I actually liked her Csarite dress more during her live interview...
Nevertheless, the color was so beautiful on Angela Bassett and my favorite cold-shoulder style of the evening
These gowns have SOME potential, IF ONLY...

We love Mandy Moore's sheer cape and navy dress.
I am majorly obbsessed with Mandy Moore's new show, This is Us...BUT, although I love the simple lines of this Naeem Khan dress, the neckline and cape combo did not seem to reside in harmony here (for me!)

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My IG feed was blowing up with RAVE reviews of Natalie Portman in this Prada gown on Sun night...
Although I loved the bold, cheerful color and vintage throwback to Jackie O, it was all a bit too matronly for me.

Sienna Miller showed off her obliques in this white dress.
Loved the simplicity of Sienna Miller's Michael Kors gown, but something was off here...
Though I love a good pearl necklace in the right setting, the pearl jewelry didn't seem right with this dress.

"La La Land" actress Emma Stone shimmered among the stars.
Loved the sweet, dainty, feminine beaded detail in this Valentino gown, but the overall color washed out beautiful Emma Stone...
Also, the strange choker was not right with this gown.
Lily Collins shimmered and stole the show in this number.
I LOVED the top part of Lily Collins' Zuhair Murad Couture gown...the pale pink color was so pretty with her skin tone, high bun, and bold red lip, and this gown could have been amazing had the designer STOPPED RIGHT AT THE WAIST WITH A SIMPLE SKIRT....but the top AND skirt detail was just WAY too much...
Model Chrissy Teigen and musician John Legend were the definition of #couplegoals.
I loved the metallic color and top part of Chrissy Teigen's Marchesa lace gown, but the oversized peplum throws it all off for me...If the top was paired with a simple skirt, this would have been stunning on her!

"Loving" star Ruth Negga wore a gleaming metallic dress.
Loved the overall silhouette of Ruth Negga's Louis Vuitton gown with modern details,
but the full zipper was perhaps TOO modern/scuba for me...

"Outlander" star Caitriona Balfe chose a dual-color empire waist dress.
Caitriona Balfe - loved the architectural detail and complementary colors of this Delpozo dress....
It just did not seem very figure flattering, (has more of a drapery effect) so perhaps a fold or two tweak?

Viola Davis also went for a sunny yellow with a white clutch.
This BOLD yellow Michael Kors gown was a showstopper on Viola Davis,
but the color is almost TOO blindingly bright. Yet, overall I loved this style and color on her!
Zoe Saldana was the queen of ruffles in this pink and red dress.
These colors were beautiful on Zoe Saldana, I just think the Gucci designer had one too many cups of coffee on the day of inception....The top OR bottom would be pretty with a more simplified, streamlined other half...
Priyanka Chopra nailed the theme with this gold look.
The color and concept of this gorgeous beaded Ralph Lauren gown looked beautiful on Priyanka Chopra, but the ill-fitting bustline was distracting...I'm OK with tasteful plunging necklines, but in this case, it just cheapens the look...

Any way you look at these, they are completely WRONG!

This was the first gown I saw of the night...I could cry in my beer over SJP bad everything here...
(With all due respect to Vera Wang)
Love her, but it's just bad, all bad....She did, however, nail her "subliminal nod to Carrie Fisher"

Blake Lively chose a futuristic dress with what appear to be pockets. We also love her wrist cuffs.
Blake Lively who almost never disappoints fashion-wise, must have had a bad case of 'Mom-Brain' when choosing this Atelier Versace gown...it should have been a red flag when she felt compelled to awkwardly tuck her fingers into her pockets when posing...
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were too cute on the carpet.
Again, usually on the best-dressed list, Jessica Biel was out to lunch the day this Elie Saab was picked for her (with all due respect, i usually LOVE this designer) because she could NOT have chosen this herself...
I can't even begin to describe what I am seeing here...

Icon and "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus also went for a black-and-white look.
This Edition by George Chakra gown seems to be a throw-back to the VERY bad 80's interior design of Julia Louis-Dryfus' character's house in the movie, Christmas Vacation "AND WHY IS THE FLOOR WET TODD? I DON'T KNOW MARGOT!!!!"

"Rogue One" star Felicity Jones had a cutesy dress on the red carpet.
Someone (Gucci?) went 'Rogue One' on Felicty Jones in a bad way here...enough said.
"Scandal" star Kerry Washington chose an embellished yellow dress with a dark lip.
Kerry Washington almost ALWAYS gets it right! Not sure what happened here with this Dolce & Gabbana...it was like a bad episode of Project Runway-meets an attempt to reupholster grandma's polyester sofa

Keith Urban loves showing off wife Nicole Kidman, seen here standing next to Cuba Gooding, Jr.
ENOUGH is ENOUGH with the unattached-but-attached sleeves trend!
This Alexander McQueen gown had a little potential without the weird sleeves...And, did her hair stylist quit mid-updo?

Busy Phillips wore a black floral gown while best friend Michelle Williams paired a choker with her lace dress.
Both Busy Phillips and Michelle Williams are darling...but these dress choices? Not so much...

Jessica Chastain wore a pale blue gown with floral detailing.
This gown is ALL KINDS OF WRONG on the usually-better-dressed Jessica Chastain...

Supermodel Heidi Klum wore a geometric, black and white dress with cut outs.
I love Heidi Klum, but this J. Mendel dress looked like she got attacked by a dog,
who ripped off part of the dress on the way to the red carpet...

Anna Kendrick chose this one-shouldered grey dress.
I will NEVER, I repeat NEVER understand how stars as darling as Anna Hendrick get out the door without a stylist, friend, sister, Mom, (even a clueless husband or dog!!) informing them that the FIT is all wrong. There are bad dresses, and bad-fitting dresses, and such an ill-fitted dress as this Vionnet one is even worse.  Perhaps it is just a bad illusion, but still!!

Keri Russell and her partner Matthew Rhys looked killer together. We love Russell's leopard look.
All I can think of for Keri Russell and this J. Mendel leopard gown is bad Jane Fonda...that's all!

Singer and star of "Hidden Figures" Janelle Monae added a '60s flavor to her typical black-and-white ensemble.
Janelle Monae in Armani Prive - Its like a black-and-white version of that iconic Playschool push-lawnmower-popper toy babies love!

"Modern Family" star Sophia Vergara wore this shimmery, metallic evening gown.
Lets face it: Sophia Vergara is beyond-human level of gorgeousness (and hilarious in her Modern Family role), BUT, this Zuhair Murad is just TOO MUCH flaunting here...

Olivia Culpo wowed in an intricate ball gown.
Olivia Culpo is stunningly beautiful, but this Zuhair Murad dress made me second-guess whether
I was at an art museum or on my couch watching the GG

What were your favorites?  Now, I need to see some of the nominated movies!! Happy Awards Season as we approach the Oscars!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Celebrating the Beautiful Life of Helga Werner

This Saturday, we will come together with our school community to celebrate the beautiful life of Helga Werner, one of our beloved teachers at Ruffing Montessori.  Our family has Helga to thank for introducing us to Ruffing back in the fall of 2008.  After touring several local preschools, I was in awe as I stepped into Helga's preprimary classroom (children aged approx 3-6 years old). As a stark contrast to many of the other preschools I visited, her room was organized, calm, contained, and peaceful, while the children quietly buzzed about the room with curiosity, wonder, and a very obvious love of learning.  Some say these early years are the most critical to a child's educational development, as it sets the tone and foundation for future years.  Helga certainly provided our children with a classroom culture, environment, and daily lessons and opportunities to ignite that love of learning so important throughout their education.  She commanded the respect and attention of both children and adults. As I gathered some photos for a slideshow to be presented at her Celebration of Life this weekend, it is clear from the faces and expressions of those around her, the impact she made on each child.

When I pulled up a few Maria Montessori quotations (see below), I can attest that Helga lived out this philosophy in every way.  She gracefully managed to walk the tricky Montessori tightrope of presenting a lesson to a child and then granting him/her independence to master the task, providing just the right guidance (as needed) to allow each child to learn and grow, while developing confidence and independence.  She also taught about good citizenship, community, honor/respect/friendship, and helped children navigate their way through endless social scenarios. Beyond all of her Montessori-rich educational gifts, I am thankful that she loved and cared for each of our children as if they were her own. Her dedication and commitment on a daily basis to show up with enthusiasm, energy, loving care, and concern made her a family member to every family that she served.  And beyond the curriculum, she went above and beyond while organizing holiday parties, plays, heritage days, graduations, and every possible celebration of life you can imagine.

Beyond the education she afforded our children, Helga taught so many of us as parents, how to better raise our children. She encouraged us to step away and let our children learn independence, problem-solving, critical thinking, and more.  She was a daily inspiration for how to live a more meaningful life.

We are so thankful for the years we spent in Helga's care, and we will forever recognize and appreciate the impact she had on our children and our entire Ruffing community.

Much love,
The Patterson Family

Helga loved the garden
My daughter, Caroline, gave this to Helga upon her graduation...

For each birthday, the children decorate a poster board and answer questions from their classmates
about the different phases of their life....and then travel 'around the sun' (holding a model of the Earth) to represent one year older!

Releasing butterflies

Halloween Party Fun

Christmas Bells Performance
Holiday party songs, crafts, and games 

Valentines Day Yoga
Valentine's Day Yoga Session - Each child gets to pick and demonstrate a pose

Easter Egg Hunt in the Garden

Heritage Day - Each child gives a presentation on their heritage

Star Wars Play

Helga made these costumes!

Lunchbuncher Lunch Outing to Mahle's

Lunchbuncher Graduation, Charlie, May 2014
Lunchbuncher Graduation, Caroline, May 2016
End of Year Fun Day!

Some Favorite Maria Montessori quotations that Helga lived every day....

"Great tact and delicacy is necessary for the care of the mind of a child from three to six years, and an adult can have very little of it."

"Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence."

"Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed."

"That humanity which is revealed in all its intellectual splendor during the sweet and tender age of childhood should be respected with a kind of religious veneration.  It is like the sun which appears at dawn or a flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open himself to life."

"The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist.""

"Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them."

"The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences."

"Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur."

"Our work is not to teach, but to help the absorbent mind in its work of development. How marvelous it would be if by our help, if by an intelligent treatment of the child, if by understanding the needs of his physical life and by feeding his intellect, we could prolong the period of functioning of the absorbent mind!"